Premarital counseling is an important but not so popular concept in the modern world. This process can be very effective if you want better understanding and resilience in your marriage. It sets the tone and prepares you for married life because it can make you go through some tough times.
What is premarital counseling?
It is nothing more than a type of couples therapy that prepares both partners for marriage. You discuss important issues and identify points that may lead to conflicts. Before starting your future life together, you must be assured that both of you are on the same page regarding all matters.
Types of premarital counseling
According to renowned psychologist Sabrina Romanoff, ‘premarital counseling is very helpful in creating a blueprint for their lives together. There are different forms and methods of going through premarital counseling, and couples can choose what they are comfortable with because different things work for couples with different preferences and mentalities.
- Gottman Method
Developed by Dr. John Gottman and Dr. Julie Gottman, this method involves a comprehensive assessment of partners about to get married. Then, a therapeutic framework is used to help them identify and address conflicts. This therapy allows couples to become better friends before partners and grow emotional intimacy more effortlessly.
- Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)
Developed by Dr. Sue Johnson and Dr. Les Greenberg, EFT is a short-term therapy. If partners want to grow emotional attachment, this process helps them develop effortless communication, leading to a stronger relationship. Before getting married, it’s important to know that you can interact with your partner without feeling uncomfortable.
- Psychodynamic Couples’ Therapy
This method closely examines underlying issues motivating interaction cycles. They consider partners’ expectations of love, validation, and intimacy in the relationship. They examine chances of disapproval and misunderstanding and help you go through the process of accepting each other better so that you can find solutions to your issues together.
Important things to consider before getting married:
- Go through the marriage laws thoroughly.
- Have medical tests done on you and your partner.
- Learn to disagree diplomatically.
- Learn basic cooking.
- Don’t drag your partner in family fights.
- Communicate and share efficiently.
- Have fun with sex.
- Don’t desert your parents.
- Take care of your financial security.
- Learn to be the better half.
Techniques of premarital counseling:
Assessment and discussion are the initial stages of premarital counseling. Couples are assessed individually and together as a team to share life experiences and their expectations from the marriage. Many important factors must be openly discussed between partners before getting married. Hence, premarital counseling allows you to do that easily.
- Assessment of partners.
Partners are asked to fill out a questionnaire individually. They clearly know each partner’s opinion and feelings towards each other. They know what you expect from this marriage, and the counselor identifies your strengths and weaknesses and finds out how compatible you are with each other.
- Exchanging experiences and memories
Premarital counseling also involves exploring significant childhood incidents or experiences that may impact your relationship. Rather than relating your partner’s attitude to an experience in the past, it’s better to have a clear idea of their lives so that you can approach this marriage more confidently.
- Discussing important factors:
The main concept of premarital counseling is to allow partners to discuss several things that may be of concern after their married life begins. Knowing each other before making the decision to live together forever is something that every couple should consider important. Here are some possible points for discussion:
Couples must be on the same page regarding how they will handle their finances after marriage. It can be a stressful and complicated issue after marriage, and it’s better to clarify how you will split bills and duties and support each other. There should be equality in your financial responsibilities.
- Beliefs and opinions:
Everyone is entitled to individual opinions regarding moral values, beliefs, or religion. So, if you discuss these things before getting married, you know your prospective partner vividly. You can also think if you are comfortable with their choices and then get involved further. This will help you develop a better understanding.
As already mentioned, your expectations from this marriage will be different from your partner. So, you must openly discuss how you will handle your roles and duties in this relationship. This will help you prepare better for what’s ahead and avoid future conflicts regarding equality and understanding in your marriage.
- Activities to be done together.
Spending time with each other while dating has a completely different meaning than doing the same in a marriage. You can use this discussion to decide how you will spend quality time together, even when you have your job and other priorities. This will avoid further misunderstandings and unnecessary blaming.
- Having children
Often, couples get to know each other’s opinions about having kids after marriage, which causes severe disputes. So, before going ahead, discuss this aspect, even if it’s embarrassing for you. Talk to your partner and know if they have a similar mentality to you about having kids in the future.
- Family relations
We all share different equations with our families. Getting married to someone means both families get involved. Talk about your connection to your family and how you plan to bond with your partner’s family. This will help you avoid conflicts in the future regarding respecting and validating each other’s families.
Reasons why your family should be a priority for you:
- They set the stage for your future relationships.
- You can always rely on them during tough times.
- They are always affectionate and understanding towards you.
- They constantly encourage and motivate you.
- They foster a sense of belonging.
- You develop healthier relationships in other aspects.
- They help you maintain good mental health.
- They help you understand what quality time means.
- They teach you valuable life lessons.
- A good family forms the backbone of a healthy society.
Benefits of Premarital Counseling
Having discussed the types and procedures of premarital counseling, you already know how useful it can be for couples. This method is specially designed to provide you and your partner with tools that make married life easier and help you develop a good relationship before getting married.
- You learn to communicate more constructively.
Proper communication is the core aspect of a marriage and, consequently, premarital counseling. Counselors help you realize how important it is for partners to understand and interact about their positions. Since you learn to communicate openly without false judgment, you don’t hurl personal attacks at each other after getting married.
- You learn to resolve conflicts more effortlessly.
Efficient problem-solving and conflict resolution are two very important skills you must learn before getting married. Premarital counseling allows partners to understand each other better and have the understanding to approach conflicts in their marriage more wisely and patiently. With time, communication leads to constructive discussion instead of unnecessary conflicts.
- You learn to focus on the positive aspect.
Your marriage will have its positive and negative aspects forever because conflicts and disagreements are a part of it. But, with premarital counseling, you will learn to be honest and optimistic. When partners focus more on the positive things in their relationship, it prepares them to handle negative situations better.
- You learn to eliminate the dysfunctional approach.
You and your partner have certain negative character traits and attitudes; nobody is perfect. So if you go through the premarital counseling process, you can identify these unhealthy attitudes and learn how to eliminate them. Knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses makes you more humble and understanding towards your marriage.
Reasons to avoid negativity:
- It affects your attitude.
- It affects your thinking.
- It drains your physical and mental energy.
- It damages your credibility.
- It discourages you.
- It is hard to overcome.
- Life is too short to focus on negative things and people.
- It takes you away from positive reinforcement.
- It creates a lot of unnecessary drama in your life.
- It hampers your mental and emotional growth.
- You learn decision-making methods.
In a marriage, every decision you make must be mutual because whatever you do impacts both lives. Premarital counseling allows you to discuss and develop efficient decision-making methods for your marriage. When you make a healthy and equitable arrangement before getting married, handling decisions in your marriage becomes much easier.
- You learn to alleviate your fears.
You or your partner may have insecurities regarding what awaits you in your married life due to past experiences. Through premarital counseling, you can overcome all these fears and anxieties. You get to know your partner more closely; therefore, you know the kind of person you’ll spend your life with.
- You learn to have realistic expectations.
As already discussed, your expectations from this marriage will be different from your partner’s. So, when you interact through premarital counseling, you will know what to expect from your partner. If you assume your relationship will only have its peaks, this marriage will give you an unsettling sense of failure.
- You will have the assurance of marital satisfaction.
A survey in the Journal of Family Psychology reveals that couples getting married with premarital counseling have 30% fewer chances of getting divorced. Since you and your partner are entering this new relationship with a clear idea of what to expect from this marriage, you are likely to be satisfied.
- You have an early professional intervention.
Rather than seeking professional help after years of marriage when marital issues have affected your relationship, it is better to go for premarital counseling. It will help you avoid the anger, disappointment, resentment, and physical and emotional distance resulting from misunderstanding and your inability to be compassionate to each other.
Reasons to consult a counselor for marital problems:
- You have problems communicating with each other.
- You have not gone through premarital counseling.
- You are uncomfortable discussing sexual problems.
- There is infidelity and dishonesty in your relationship.
- You need help in managing other relationships.
- You are involved in non-traditional relationships.
- You have blended families.
- You feel your relationship has come to an end.
- You have digital age issues.
- You have the cutting edge.
Premarital counseling has a success rate of 80%. If you are stuck with issues that may affect your marriage, it’s the best option for you. Most couples marry without guidance or insight; consequently, they suffer from marital problems. This procedure gives you a cutting edge over such couples.
- You will build a solid foundation.
Premarital counseling is just a procedure to set the stage for your marriage. When you commit to going through it, you prioritize your relationship and connect better with your partner. This is much better than going for counseling when you have too many intense emotions working in your marriage.
- You are building rapport with the counselor.
When you go to a premarital counselor, you are getting connected to a professional in the marital field. So, if you have problems in your marriage later, a counselor who knows your equation in this relationship can help you better because he/she understands what you are going through.
Therefore, premarital counseling has plenty of benefits for couples about to get married. Suppose you want to get married with a better understanding of the relationship and your prospective spouse. In that case, you can go to professional premarital counselors who will help you through the process easily and effectively.
Reasons to not keep dwelling on the past and move on:
- It affects your physical and mental health.
- You miss out on the better opportunities in life.
- You are too weak to change what happened.
- You ruin other relationships in your life.
- You waste your life on something meaningless.
- You suffer from stress and anxiety.
- You can’t move on in life.
- You stop expressing your feelings.
- You start playing blame games with other people.
- You cannot focus on the present or the future.
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Hey! I’m Chris Woods . I’m a 38-Year-Old Personal Trainer Who Enjoys Eating Out, Watching Television, and Worshiping. I Have a Degree in Psychology. I’m Physical in Pretty Good Shape. My Average Height with Glowing Skin, Black Hair, and Light Grey Eyes. I Love to Write About Love & Relationships. So, That’s Why I Created This Blog to Share My Knowledge with You.